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Toxics, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2022) – 48 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Nitrate is a form of nitrogen naturally occurring in the environment and also found in fertilizers and animal and human wastes. Once nitrogen is converted to the nitrate form, it will completely dissolve in water and move easily with water to aquatic ecosystems, where it can cause undesirable effects. Elevated nitrate levels are associated with increased risk of certain cancers and birth defects, even at low concentrations. In this paper, spring water vulnerability to nitrate occurrence was assessed in the Sila Massif (Calabria, southern Italy) using spatial variables focused on lithological settings. View this paper
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Article
Nickel’s Role in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Potential Involvement of microRNAs
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030148 - 21 Mar 2022
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancer types with a limited overall survival rate due to the asymptomatic progression of symptoms in metastatic stages of the malignancy and the lack of an early reliable diagnostic biomarker. MicroRNAs (miRs/miRNAs) are [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancer types with a limited overall survival rate due to the asymptomatic progression of symptoms in metastatic stages of the malignancy and the lack of an early reliable diagnostic biomarker. MicroRNAs (miRs/miRNAs) are small (~18–24 nucleotides), endogenous, non-coding RNAs, which are closely linked to the development of numerous malignancies comprising PDAC. Recent studies have described the role of environmental pollutants such as nickel (Ni) in PDAC, but the mechanisms of Ni-mediated toxicity in cancer are still not completely understood. Specifically, Ni has been found to alter the expression and function of miRs in several malignancies, leading to changes in target gene expression. In this study, we found that levels of Ni were significantly higher in cancerous tissue, thus implicating Ni in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Hence, in vitro studies followed by using both normal and pancreatic tumor cell lines and increasing Ni concentration increased lethality. Comparing LC50 values, Ni-acetate groups demonstrated lower values needed than in NiCl2 groups, suggesting greater Ni-acetate. Panc-10.05 cell line appeared the most sensitive to Ni compounds. Exposure to Ni-acetate resulted in an increased phospho-AKT, and decreased FOXO1 expression in Panc-10.05 cells, while NiCl2 also increased PTEN expression in Panc-10.05 cells. Specifically, following NiCl2 exposure to PDAC cells, the expression levels of miR-221 and miR-155 were significantly upregulated, while the expression levels of miR-126 were significantly decreased. Hence, our study has suggested pilot insights to indicate that the environmental pollutant Ni plays an important role in the progression of PDAC by promoting an association between miRs and Ni exposure during PDAC pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Revitalization of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil Remediated by Landfarming
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030147 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Soil health deteriorates through the contamination and remediation processes, resulting in the limitation of the reuse and recycling of the remediated soils. Therefore, soil health should be recovered for the intended purposes of reuse and recycling. This study aimed to evaluate the applicability [...] Read more.
Soil health deteriorates through the contamination and remediation processes, resulting in the limitation of the reuse and recycling of the remediated soils. Therefore, soil health should be recovered for the intended purposes of reuse and recycling. This study aimed to evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of several amendments to revitalize total petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils remediated by the landfarming process. Ten inorganic, organic, and biological amendments were investigated for their dosage and duration, and nine physicochemical, four fertility, and seven microbial (soil enzyme activity) factors were compared before and after the treatment of amendments. Finally, the extent of recovery was quantitatively estimated, and the significance of results was confirmed with statistical methods, such as simple regression and correlation analyses assisted by principal component analysis. The landfarming process is considered a somewhat environmentally friendly remediation technology to minimize the adverse effect on soil quality, but four soil properties—such as water holding capacity (WHC), exchangeable potassium (Ex. K), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), available phosphorus (Av. P), and urease—were confirmed to deteriorate through the landfarming process. The WHC was better improved by organic agents, such as peat moss, biochar, and compost. Zeolite was evaluated as the most effective material for improving Ex. K content. The vermicompost showed the highest efficacy in recovering the NO3-N content of the remediated soil. Chlorella, vermicompost, and compost were investigated for their ability to enhance urease activity effectively. Although each additive showed different effectiveness according to different soil properties, their effect on overall soil properties should be considered for cost-effectiveness and practical implementation. Their overall effect was evaluated using statistical methods, and the results showed that compost, chlorella, and vermicompost were the most relevant amendments for rehabilitating the overall health of the remediated soil for the reuse and/or recycling of agricultural purposes. This study highlighted how to practically improve the health of remediated soils for the reuse and recycling of agricultural purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil and Health Risks)
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Article
Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Canada: Population-Based Estimates of Disease Burden and Economic Costs
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030146 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 977
Abstract
Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) contributes to substantial disease burden worldwide. We aim to quantify the disease burden and costs of EDC exposure in Canada and to compare these results with previously published findings in the European Union (EU) and United States (US). [...] Read more.
Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) contributes to substantial disease burden worldwide. We aim to quantify the disease burden and costs of EDC exposure in Canada and to compare these results with previously published findings in the European Union (EU) and United States (US). EDC biomonitoring data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007–2011) was applied to 15 exposure–response relationships, and population and cost estimates were based on the 2010 general Canadian population. EDC exposure in Canada (CAD 24.6 billion) resulted in substantially lower costs than the US (USD 340 billion) and EU (USD 217 billion). Nonetheless, our findings suggest that EDC exposure contributes to substantial and costly disease burden in Canada, amounting to 1.25% of the annual Canadian gross domestic product. As in the US, exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers was the greatest contributor of costs (8.8 billion for 374,395 lost IQ points and 2.6 billion for 1610 cases of intellectual disability). In the EU, organophosphate pesticides were the largest contributor to costs (USD 121 billion). While the burden of EDC exposure is greater in the US and EU, there remains a similar need for stronger EDC regulatory action in Canada beyond the current framework of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999. Full article
Article
Characteristics of PM2.5 and Its Correlation with Feed, Manure and NH3 in a Pig-Fattening House
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030145 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Fine particulate matter (PM), including PM2.5 in pig houses, has received increasing attention due to the potential health risks associated with PM. At present, most studies have analyzed PM2.5 in Chinese pig houses utilizing natural ventilation. These results, however, are strongly [...] Read more.
Fine particulate matter (PM), including PM2.5 in pig houses, has received increasing attention due to the potential health risks associated with PM. At present, most studies have analyzed PM2.5 in Chinese pig houses utilizing natural ventilation. These results, however, are strongly affected by the internal structure and regional environment, thus limiting their applicability to non-mechanically ventilated pig houses. This experiment was carried out in an environmentally controlled pig house. The animal feeding operation and manure management in the house were typical for Southwest China. To reduce the influence of various environmental factors on PM2.5, the temperature and humidity in the house were maintained in a relatively stable state by using an environmental control system. The concentration of PM2.5 in the pig house was monitored, while the biological contents and chemical composition of PM2.5 were analyzed, and feed, manure, and dust particles were scanned using an electron microscope. Moreover, bacterial and fungal contents and some water-soluble ions in PM2.5 were identified. The results showed that the concentration of PM2.5 in the pig house was strongly affected by pig activity, and a phenomenon of forming secondary particles in the pig house was found, although the transformation intensity was low. The concentration of PM2.5 had negative correlations of 0.27 and 0.18 with ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. Interestingly, a stronger correlation was observed between ammonia and hydrogen sulfide and ammonia and carbon dioxide concentrations (the concentration of ammonia had stronger positive correlations with hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide concentrations at +0.44 and +0.59, respectively). The main potential sources of PM2.5 production were feed and manure. We speculate that manure could contribute to the broken, rough, and angular particles that formed the pig house PM2.5 that easily adhered to other components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Management)
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Article
Double-Sided Nano-ZnO: Superior Antibacterial Properties and Induced Hepatotoxicity in Zebrafish Embryos
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030144 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (Nano-ZnO) have been widely used in the food, cosmetics, and biomedical fields due to their excellent antibacterial and antioxidant properties. However, with the widespread application of Nano-ZnO, Nano-ZnO inevitably enters the environment and living organisms, causing harm to human health [...] Read more.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles (Nano-ZnO) have been widely used in the food, cosmetics, and biomedical fields due to their excellent antibacterial and antioxidant properties. However, with the widespread application of Nano-ZnO, Nano-ZnO inevitably enters the environment and living organisms, causing harm to human health and ecosystem safety. Therefore, the biosafety and toxicological issues of Nano-ZnO are gradually being emphasized. Our study found that Nano-ZnO has superior antibacterial properties compared to ofloxacin in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Given that ofloxacin can inhibit bacterial-induced inflammation, we constructed a model of bacterial inflammation using S. aureus in zebrafish. We found that Nano-ZnO inhibited the NF-κB-mediated inflammatory signaling pathway. However, in the process, we found that Nano-ZnO caused hepatic steatosis in zebrafish. This suggested that Nano-ZnO had a certain hepatotoxicity, but did not affect liver development. Subsequently, we investigated the mechanism of hepatotoxicity produced by Nano-ZnO. Nano-ZnO triggered oxidative stress in the liver by generating ROS, which then induced endoplasmic reticulum stress to occur. It further activated srebp and its downstream genes fasn and acc1, which promoted the accumulation of fatty acid synthesis and the development of steatosis, leading to the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). To address the hepatotoxicity of Nano-ZnO, we added carbon dots for the treatment of NAFLD. The carbon dots were found to normalize the steatotic liver. This provided a new strategy to address the hepatotoxicity caused by Nano-ZnO. In this work, we systematically analyzed the antibacterial advantages of Nano-ZnO in vivo and in vitro, explored the mechanism of Nano-ZnO hepatotoxicity, and proposed a new method to treat Nano-ZnO hepatotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Article
Risk of Abdominal Obesity Associated with Phthalate Exposure of Nurses
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030143 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Background: Occupational health hazards associated with phthalate exposure among nurses are still not well understood. Methods: We used high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to analyze phthalates. Anthropometric measurements and questionnaires were conducted. Results: We observed associations between mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) and [...] Read more.
Background: Occupational health hazards associated with phthalate exposure among nurses are still not well understood. Methods: We used high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to analyze phthalates. Anthropometric measurements and questionnaires were conducted. Results: We observed associations between mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) and body mass index (BMI), hip circumference (HC), waist circumference (WC), waist to height ratio (WHtR), and fat mass index (FMI), visceral fat content, BMI risk and hip index risk (HIrisk), adjusted to consumer behavior and consumer practices (r = 0.36–0.61; p ≤ 0.046). In the same model, we detected an association between mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and waist to hip ratio (WHR; r = 0.36; p = 0.046), mono-carboxy-isononyl phthalate (cx-MiNP) and BMI (r = 0.37; p = 0.043), HC (r = 0.4; p = 0.026) and WHtR (r = 0.38; p = 0.037), between mono-oxo-isononyl phthalate oxo (MiNP) and HC (r = 0.36; p = 0.045), mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (oxo-MEHP) and HIrisk (r = 0.38–0.41; p ≤ 0.036), between oxo-MEHP and Anthropometric Risk Index (ARI risk; r = 0.4; p = 0.028). We detected a relationship between BMI and MBzP (β = 0.655; p < 0.001) and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP; β = −0.365; p = 0.003), between hip circumference and MBzP (β = 0.486; p < 0.001), MEHP (β = −0.402; p = 0.001), and sum of secondary metabolites of diisononyl phthalate (∑DiNP; β = 0.307; p = 0.016). We observed a relationship between fat content and MBzP (β = 0.302; p = 0.033), OH-MnBP (β = −0.736; p = 0.006) and MiBP (β = 0.547; p = 0.046), visceral fat content and MBzP (β = 0.307; p = 0.030), HI-risk and MBzP (β = 0.444; p = 0.001), ARI-risk and sum of di-n-butyl phthalate metabolites (∑DnBP; β = 0.337; p = 0.018). We observed an association between the use of protective equipment with cx-MiNP. Conclusions: Occupational exposure to phthalates may induce abdominal obesity and result in obesity-related metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical and Biological Threats, Hazard Potential and Countermeasures)
Article
Anthraquinones: Genotoxic until Proven Otherwise? A Study on a Substance-Based Medical Device to Implement Available Data for a Correct Risk Assessment
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030142 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 557
Abstract
A genotoxicological study was carried out on a substance-based medical device (SMD) containing anthraquinones in order to evaluate its potential mutagenic effect. The “In Vitro Mammalian Cell Micronucleus Test” was performed on human TK6 cells by flow cytometry. Cultures were treated with concentrations [...] Read more.
A genotoxicological study was carried out on a substance-based medical device (SMD) containing anthraquinones in order to evaluate its potential mutagenic effect. The “In Vitro Mammalian Cell Micronucleus Test” was performed on human TK6 cells by flow cytometry. Cultures were treated with concentrations of SMD tested in the range of 0–2 mg/mL for short treatment time (3 h) both in the absence and presence of an exogenous metabolic activation system, followed by a recovery period in fresh medium (23 h) and for extended treatment time (26 h) without an exogenous metabolic activation system. At the end of both treatment times, cytotoxicity, cytostasis, apoptosis and micronuclei (MNi) frequency were analysed in treated cultures and then compared with those measured in concurrent negative control cultures. The SMD did not induce a statistically significant increase MNi frequency under any of experimental conditions tested. The negative outcome shows that the SMD is non-mutagenic in terms of its ability to induce chromosomal aberrations both in the absence and presence of an exogenous metabolic activation system. The study ended by analyzing intracellular ROS levels to exclude the pro-oxidant ability, typically linked to DNA damage. On the contrary, our results demonstrated the ability the SMD to counteract oxidative stress. Full article
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Article
Quantitative Health Risk Assessment of the Chronic Inhalation of Chemical Compounds in Healthcare and Elderly Care Facilities
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030141 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Previous studies have described the chemical pollution in indoor air of healthcare and care facilities. From these studies, the main objective of this work was to conduct a quantitative health risk assessment of the chronic inhalation of chemical compounds by workers in healthcare [...] Read more.
Previous studies have described the chemical pollution in indoor air of healthcare and care facilities. From these studies, the main objective of this work was to conduct a quantitative health risk assessment of the chronic inhalation of chemical compounds by workers in healthcare and elderly care facilities (hospitals, dental and general practitioner offices, pharmacies and nursing homes). The molecules of interest were 36 volatile and 13 semi-volatile organic compounds. Several professional exposure scenarios were developed in these facilities. The likelihood and severity of side effects that could occur were assessed by calculating the hazard quotient for deterministic effects, and the excess lifetime cancer risk for stochastic effects. No hazard quotient was greater than 1. Three compounds had a hazard quotient above 0.1: 2-ethyl-1-hexanol in dental and general practitioner offices, ethylbenzene and acetone in dental offices. Only formaldehyde presented an excess lifetime cancer risk greater than 1 × 10−5 in dental and general practitioner offices (maximum value of 3.8 × 10−5 for general practitioners). The health risk for chronic inhalation of most compounds investigated did not appear to be of concern. Some values tend to approach the acceptability thresholds justifying a reflection on the implementation of corrective actions such as the installation of ventilation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Air Pollution and Occupational Exposure)
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Article
NMR Spectroscopy Identifies Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke Condensate That Impair Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Function
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030140 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Tobacco smoke-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with high healthcare burden and mortality rates. Many COPD patients were reported to have muscle atrophy and weakness, with several studies suggesting intrinsic muscle mitochondrial impairment as a possible driver of [...] Read more.
Tobacco smoke-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with high healthcare burden and mortality rates. Many COPD patients were reported to have muscle atrophy and weakness, with several studies suggesting intrinsic muscle mitochondrial impairment as a possible driver of this phenotype. Whereas much information has been learned about muscle pathology once a patient has COPD, little is known about how active tobacco smoking might impact skeletal muscle physiology or mitochondrial health. In this study, we examined the acute effects of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) on muscle mitochondrial function and hypothesized that toxic chemicals present in CSC would impair mitochondrial respiratory function. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that acute exposure of muscle mitochondria to CSC caused a dose-dependent decrease in skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Next, we applied an analytical nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based approach to identify 49 water-soluble and 12 lipid-soluble chemicals with high abundance in CSC. By using a chemical screening approach in the Seahorse XF96 analyzer, several CSC-chemicals, including nicotine, o-Cresol, phenylacetate, and decanoic acid, were found to impair ADP-stimulated respiration in murine muscle mitochondrial isolates significantly. Further to this, several chemicals, including nicotine, o-Cresol, quinoline, propylene glycol, myo-inositol, nitrosodimethylamine, niacinamide, decanoic acid, acrylonitrile, 2-naphthylamine, and arsenic acid, were found to significantly decrease the acceptor control ratio, an index of mitochondrial coupling efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Chemistry)
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Article
Metals Bioaccumulation in 15 Commonly Consumed Fishes from the Lower Meghna River and Adjacent Areas of Bangladesh and Associated Human Health Hazards
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030139 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
The lower Meghna River, the easternmost part of the Ganges Delta, faces severe anthropogenic perturbations as it receives a huge discharge and industrial effluents. To measure the metal concentrations and human health hazards, edible tissues of 15 commercially important fish species were collected [...] Read more.
The lower Meghna River, the easternmost part of the Ganges Delta, faces severe anthropogenic perturbations as it receives a huge discharge and industrial effluents. To measure the metal concentrations and human health hazards, edible tissues of 15 commercially important fish species were collected from the local fish markets and the lower Meghna River, Bangladesh. Trace and heavy metals such as Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Hg, Ni, Ca, Co, Se, Rb, Sr, and As were detected using the Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) method. The hierarchy of mean metal concentrations obtained was: Fe (162.198 mg/kg) > Zn (113.326 mg/kg) > Ca (87.828 mg/kg) > Sr (75.139 mg/kg) > Cu (36.438 mg/kg) > Se (9.087 mg/kg) > Cr (7.336 mg/kg) > Mn (6.637 mg/kg) > Co (3.474 mg/kg) > Rb (1.912 mg/kg) > Hg (1.657 mg/kg) > Ni (1.467 mg/kg) > Pb (0.521 mg/kg) > As (BDL). Based on the metal concentration obtained, the carnivorous species contained more metals than omnivores and herbivores. Similarly, the euryhaline and benthic feeder fishes had more metals than the stenohalines and demersal fishes. The metal pollution index (MPI) suggested that the highly consumed fish species Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and Rui (Labeo rohita) accumulated higher metals than other fishes. Both the Targeted Hazard Quotient (THQ) and Hazard Index (HI) values for adult and child consumers were <1, indicating that consumers would not experience the non-carcinogenic health effects. Although children were more susceptible than adults, carcinogenic risk (CR) exposure of Cr for all the consumers was found in the acceptable range (10−6 to 10−4), but the CR exposure of Pb was negligible for all the consumers. The correlation, principal component analysis (PCA), and cluster analysis were conducted to identify the sources of metals identified from the fish tissue. The results indicated that the probable sources of the pollutants were anthropogenic, arising from agricultural activities, electroplating materials, and lubricants used near the study area. However, the present study showed a different metal concentration in the samples at different levels but within the threshold levels non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks; hence, the fishes of the area, in general, are safe for human consumption. Full article
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Article
Chronic Perigestational Exposure to Chlorpyrifos Induces Perturbations in Gut Bacteria and Glucose and Lipid Markers in Female Rats and Their Offspring
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030138 - 12 Mar 2022
Viewed by 754
Abstract
An increasing burden of evidence is pointing toward pesticides as risk factors for chronic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, leading to metabolic syndrome. Our objective was to assess the impact of chlorpyrifos (CPF) on metabolic and bacteriologic markers. Female rats [...] Read more.
An increasing burden of evidence is pointing toward pesticides as risk factors for chronic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, leading to metabolic syndrome. Our objective was to assess the impact of chlorpyrifos (CPF) on metabolic and bacteriologic markers. Female rats were exposed before and during gestation and during lactation to CPF (1 mg/kg/day). Outcomes such as weight, glucose and lipid profiles, as well as disturbances in selected gut bacterial levels, were measured in both the dams (at the end of the lactation period) and in their female offspring at early adulthood (60 days of age). The results show that the weight of CPF dams were lower compared to the other groups, accompanied by an imbalance in blood glucose and lipid markers, and selected gut bacteria. Intra-uterine growth retardation, as well as metabolic disturbances and perturbation of selected gut bacteria, were also observed in their offspring, indicating both a direct effect on the dams and an indirect effect of CPF on the female offspring. Co-treatment with inulin (a prebiotic) prevented some of the outcomes of the pesticide. Further investigations could help better understand if those perturbations mimic or potentiate nutritional risk factors for metabolic syndrome through high fat diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Article
Vulnerability to Nitrate Occurrence in the Spring Waters of the Sila Massif (Calabria, Southern Italy)
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030137 - 12 Mar 2022
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Knowledge of spring waters’ chemical composition is paramount for both their use and their conservation. Vast surveys at the basin scale are required to define the nature and the location of the springs and to identify the hydrochemical facies of their aquifers. The [...] Read more.
Knowledge of spring waters’ chemical composition is paramount for both their use and their conservation. Vast surveys at the basin scale are required to define the nature and the location of the springs and to identify the hydrochemical facies of their aquifers. The present study aims to evaluate the hydrochemical facies and the vulnerability to nitrates of 59 springs falling in the Sila Massif in Calabria (southern Italy) and to identify their vulnerability through the analysis of physicochemical parameters and the use of the Langelier–Ludwig diagram. A spatial analysis was performed by the spline method. The results identified a mean value of 4.39 mg NO3/L and a maximum value of 24 mg NO3/L for nitrate pollution in the study area. Statistical analysis results showed that the increase in electrical conductivity follows the increase in alkalinity values, a correlation especially evident in the bicarbonate Ca-Mg waters and linked to the possibility of higher nitrate concentrations in springs. These analyses also showed that nitrate vulnerability is dependent on the geological setting of springs. Indeed, the Sila igneous–metamorphic batholith, often strongly affected by weathering processes, contributes to not buffering the nitrate impacts on aquifers. Conversely, anthropogenic activities, particularly fertilization practices, are key factors in groundwater vulnerability. Full article
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Article
Indoor Carbon Dioxide, Fine Particulate Matter and Total Volatile Organic Compounds in Private Healthcare and Elderly Care Facilities
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030136 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
Poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on human health, especially in susceptible populations. The aim of this study was to measure the concentrations of dioxide carbon (CO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) [...] Read more.
Poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on human health, especially in susceptible populations. The aim of this study was to measure the concentrations of dioxide carbon (CO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) in situ in private healthcare and elderly care facilities. These pollutants were continuously measured in two rooms of six private healthcare facilities (general practitioner’s offices, dental offices and pharmacies) and four elderly care facilities (nursing homes) in two French urban areas during two seasons: summer and winter. The mean CO2 concentrations ranged from 764 ± 443 ppm in dental offices to 624 ± 198 ppm in elderly care facilities. The mean PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 13.4 ± 14.4 µg/m3 in dental offices to 5.7 ± 4.8 µg/m3 in general practitioner offices. The mean TVOC concentrations ranged from 700 ± 641 ppb in dental offices to 143 ± 239 ppb in general practitioner offices. Dental offices presented higher levels of indoor air pollutants, associated with the dental activities. Increasing the ventilation of these facilities by opening a window is probably an appropriate method for reducing pollutant concentrations and maintaining good indoor air quality. Full article
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Editorial
Benzimidazoles and Plants: Uptake, Transformation and Effect
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030135 - 11 Mar 2022
Viewed by 547
Abstract
In recent years, there has been increasing concern over the environmental risks of the so called “Emerging pollutants (EPs)” that are defined as synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals that are not commonly monitored in the environment but which have the potential to enter [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been increasing concern over the environmental risks of the so called “Emerging pollutants (EPs)” that are defined as synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals that are not commonly monitored in the environment but which have the potential to enter the environment and cause adverse ecological and (or) human health effects [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Emerging Pollutants on Plants)
Article
Differences in Acellular Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Generation by E-Cigarettes Containing Synthetic Nicotine and Tobacco-Derived Nicotine
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030134 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) containing synthetic nicotine have yet to be classified as tobacco products; consequently, there is ambiguity over whether Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority can be extended to include tobacco-free nicotine (TFN) e-cigarettes. In recent years, a more [...] Read more.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) containing synthetic nicotine have yet to be classified as tobacco products; consequently, there is ambiguity over whether Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority can be extended to include tobacco-free nicotine (TFN) e-cigarettes. In recent years, a more significant number of e-cigarette companies have been manufacturing TFN-containing e-cigarettes and e-liquids to circumvent FDA regulations. While studies have shown that aerosols generated from tobacco-derived nicotine-containing e-cigarettes contain significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, no comparison studies have been conducted using TFN e-cigarettes. This study uses a single puff aerosol generator to aerosolize TFN and tobacco-derived nicotine-containing vape products and subsequently involves semi-quantifying the ROS generated by these vape products in H2O2 equivalents. We found that the differences between ROS levels generated from TFN and tobacco-derived nicotine-containing vape products vary by flavor. TFN tobacco flavored and fruit flavored products are more toxic in terms of ROS generation than menthol/ice and drink/beverage flavored products using TFN. Our study provides further insight into understanding how flavoring agents used in vape products impact ROS generation from e-cigarettes differently in TFN e-cigarettes than e-cigarettes using tobacco-derived nicotine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Cigarettes)
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Article
Enhanced Uptake of Arsenic Induces Increased Toxicity with Cadmium at Non-Toxic Concentrations on Caenorhabditis elegans
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030133 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) are widely distributed pollutants that co-exist in the environment; however, their joint toxicity on living organisms is still largely unknown. In this study, we explored the joint toxicity of concurrent exposure to Cd and different As species at [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) are widely distributed pollutants that co-exist in the environment; however, their joint toxicity on living organisms is still largely unknown. In this study, we explored the joint toxicity of concurrent exposure to Cd and different As species at low concentrations on Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in comparison to single exposures. Endpoints such as germ cell apoptosis, the number of oocytes, brood size, and the life span were employed to evaluate the combined effects of Cd and As on exposed C. elegans from L3 or L4 stages. Our results showed that concurrent exposure to non-toxic concentrations of Cd and As caused the synergy of reproductive and developmental toxicity. The presence of Cd promoted the accumulation of As in both germline and intestine detected by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Although a conversion of As(III) to As(V) was detected as dependent on pH according to the microenvironment of the intestine in the worm, there was no significant difference of toxicity in C. elegans concurrently exposed to Cd and different As species. Using loss-of-function mutant strains, As was deemed responsible for the enhanced joint toxicity, and in which gcs-1 played a key protective role. These data help to better evaluate the comprehensive adverse effects of concurrent exposure of heavy metals at low concentrations on living organisms in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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Article
Evaluation of Zebrafish DNA Integrity after Individual and Combined Exposure to TiO2 Nanoparticles and Lincomycin
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030132 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Environmental contamination by nanoparticles (NPs) and drugs represents one of the most debated issues of the last years. The aquatic biome and, indirectly, human health are strongly influenced by the negative effects induced by the widespread presence of pharmaceutical products in wastewater, mainly [...] Read more.
Environmental contamination by nanoparticles (NPs) and drugs represents one of the most debated issues of the last years. The aquatic biome and, indirectly, human health are strongly influenced by the negative effects induced by the widespread presence of pharmaceutical products in wastewater, mainly due to the massive use of antibiotics and inefficient treatment of the waters. The present study aimed to evaluate the harmful consequences due to exposure to antibiotics and NPs, alone and in combination, in the aquatic environment. By exploiting some of their peculiar characteristics, such as small size and ability to bind different types of substances, NPs can carry drugs into the body, showing potential genotoxic effects. The research was conducted on zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed in vivo to lincomycin (100 mg/L) and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) (10 µg/L) for 7 and 14 exposure days. The effects on zebrafish were evaluated in terms of cell viability, DNA fragmentation, and genomic template stability (GTS%) investigated using Trypan blue staining, TUNEL assay, and the random amplification of polymorphic DNA PCR (RAPD PCR) technique, respectively. Our results show that after TiO2 NPs exposure, as well as after TiO2 NPs and lincomycin co-exposure, the percentage of damaged DNA significantly increased and cell viability decreased. On the contrary, exposure to lincomycin alone caused only a GTS% reduction after 14 exposure days. Therefore, the results allow us to assert that genotoxic effect in target cells could be through a synergistic effect, also potentially mediated by the establishment of intermolecular interactions between lincomycin and TiO2 NPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge of Nanomaterial Ecotoxicology)
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Article
In Vitro Neurotoxicity of Flumethrin Pyrethroid on SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells: Apoptosis Associated with Oxidative Stress
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030131 - 07 Mar 2022
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Pyrethroids are neurotoxicants for animals, showing a pattern of toxic action on the nervous system. Flumethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is used against ectoparasites in domestic animals, plants, and for public health. This compound has been shown to be highly toxic to bees, while [...] Read more.
Pyrethroids are neurotoxicants for animals, showing a pattern of toxic action on the nervous system. Flumethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is used against ectoparasites in domestic animals, plants, and for public health. This compound has been shown to be highly toxic to bees, while its effects on other animals have been less investigated. However, in vitro studies to evaluate cytotoxicity are scarce, and the mechanisms associated with this effect at the molecular level are still unknown. This study aimed to investigate the oxidative stress and cell death induction in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells in response to flumethrin exposure (1–1000 µM). Flumethrin induced a significant cytotoxic effect, as evaluated by MTT and LDH leakage assays, and produced an increase in the biomarkers of oxidative stress as reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide (ROS and NO) generation, malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, and caspase-3 activity. In addition, flumethrin significantly increased apoptosis-related gene expressions (Bax, Casp-3, BNIP3, APAF1, and AKT1) and oxidative stress and antioxidative (NFκB and SOD2) mediators. The results demonstrated, by biochemical and gene expression assays, that flumethrin induces oxidative stress and apoptosis, which could cause DNA damage. Detailed knowledge obtained about these molecular changes could provide the basis for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of flumethrin-induced neurotoxicity. Full article
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Article
Artificial Digestion of Polydisperse Copper Oxide Nanoparticles: Investigation of Effects on the Human In Vitro Intestinal Co-Culture Model Caco-2/HT29-MTX
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030130 - 07 Mar 2022
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NP) are increasingly used in consumer-related products, which may result in increased oral ingestion. Digestion of particles can change their physicochemical properties and toxicity. Therefore, our aim was to simulate the gastrointestinal tract using a static in vitro digestion model. [...] Read more.
Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NP) are increasingly used in consumer-related products, which may result in increased oral ingestion. Digestion of particles can change their physicochemical properties and toxicity. Therefore, our aim was to simulate the gastrointestinal tract using a static in vitro digestion model. Toxic properties of digested and undigested CuO-NP were compared using an epithelial mono-culture (Caco-2) and a mucus-secreting co-culture model (Caco-2/HT29-MTX). Effects on intestinal barrier integrity, permeability, cell viability and apoptosis were analyzed. CuO-NP concentrations of 1, 10 and 100 µg mL−1 were used. Particle characterization by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy showed similar mean particle sizes before and after digestion, resulting in comparable delivered particle doses in vitro. Only slight effects on barrier integrity and cell viability were detected for 100 µg mL−1 CuO-NP, while the ion control CuCl2 always caused significantly higher adverse effects. The utilized cell models were not significantly different. In summary, undigested and digested CuO-NP show comparable effects on the mono-/co-cultures, which are weaker than those of copper ions. Only in the highest concentration, CuO-NP showed weak effects on barrier integrity and cell viability. Nevertheless, a slightly increased apoptosis rate indicates existing cellular stress, which gives reason for further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Toxicology)
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Article
Effect of Long-Term Biodegradable Film Mulch on Soil Physicochemical and Microbial Properties
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030129 - 07 Mar 2022
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Biodegradable mulches have become the focus of attention, as pollution caused by leftover plastic mulch material becomes increasingly severe. However, the impact of biodegradable mulches to the soil needs to be further investigated. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of no-mulch, [...] Read more.
Biodegradable mulches have become the focus of attention, as pollution caused by leftover plastic mulch material becomes increasingly severe. However, the impact of biodegradable mulches to the soil needs to be further investigated. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of no-mulch, biodegradable film mulch (BM) and polyethylene film mulch (PM) on the soil’s physical, chemical and biological properties after six years (2013–2019) of mulching in garlic growing season in a garlic-maize rotation. Results showed that the soil bulk density of the 10–20 cm soil layer under BM decreased by 12.09–17.17% compared with that under PM. The soil total nitrogen content increased significantly by 14.75–28.37%, and the soil available phosphorus and potassium content increased by 64.20% and 108.82%, respectively. In addition, BM increased the soil’s microbial, soil urease, and soil catalase activities compared with those for PM. To sum up, BM can reduce soil bulk density, and long-term use of BM does not cause a decrease in soil nutrient content and microbial activity. On the contrary, it can improve soil quality. This study helps accumulate data for the environmental safety evaluation of BM and provides theoretical and technical support for the large-scale promotion of biodegradable mulches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
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Editorial
New Technologies to Decontaminate Pollutants in Water: A Report about the State of the Art
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030128 - 07 Mar 2022
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The growing increase in the world population was accompanied by a massive development of industrialization [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies to Decontaminate Pollutants in Water)
Article
The Recolonization Concentration Concept: Using Avoidance Assays with Soil Organisms to Predict the Recolonization Potential of Contaminated Sites
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030127 - 05 Mar 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
In this study the recolonization concentration concept for soil organisms is presented and validated. This concept is based on the empirically deduced avoidance–recolonization hypothesis, which shows a negative correlation between avoidance (ACx) and recolonization (RCx) (ACx = RC [...] Read more.
In this study the recolonization concentration concept for soil organisms is presented and validated. This concept is based on the empirically deduced avoidance–recolonization hypothesis, which shows a negative correlation between avoidance (ACx) and recolonization (RCx) (ACx = RC100−x) responses. The concept was validated in a two-step approach composed by (i) individual placement tests, to demonstrate the non-influence of individual placement in a dual chamber avoidance test and (ii) small scale gradient tests to demonstrate that the number of colonizers reaching a soil patch with a certain concentration is independent on their previous exposure to lower concentrations. Overall, data show that avoidance data can be used, when framed under the recolonization concentration concept, to evaluate the recolonization potential of contaminated sites. The recolonization concept is an important theoretical concept that when coupled with spatial modelling tools could be used to tackle the spatial and temporal recovery dynamics of contaminated soil. Full article
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Article
The Impact of the Storage Conditions and Type of Clearomizers on the Increase of Heavy Metal Levels in Electronic Cigarette Liquids Retailed in Romania
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030126 - 05 Mar 2022
Viewed by 676
Abstract
The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has raised several public health concerns, including the risks associated with heavy metals exposure via e-liquids and vapors. The purpose of this study was to determine, using atomic absorption spectrometry, the concentrations of Pb, Ni, Zn, and [...] Read more.
The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has raised several public health concerns, including the risks associated with heavy metals exposure via e-liquids and vapors. The purpose of this study was to determine, using atomic absorption spectrometry, the concentrations of Pb, Ni, Zn, and Co in some commercially available e-liquid samples from Romania immediately after purchase and after storage in clearomizers. Lead and zinc were found in all investigated samples before storage. The initial concentrations of Pb ranged from 0.13 to 0.26 mg L−1, while Zn concentrations were between 0.04 and 0.07 mg L−1. Traces of nickel appeared in all investigated e-liquids before storage but in very small amounts (0.01–0.02 mg L−1). Co was below the detection limits. We investigated the influence of the storage period (1, 3, and 5 days), storage temperature (22 °C and 40 °C), and type of clearomizer. In most cases, the temperature rise and storage period increase were associated with higher concentrations of heavy metals. This confirms that storage conditions can affect metal transfer and suggests that the temperature of storage is another parameter that can influence this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Cigarettes)
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Editorial
Editorial to Special Issue Toxic Metals, Chronic Diseases and Related Cancers
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030125 - 05 Mar 2022
Viewed by 953
Abstract
In this Special Issue, entitled “Toxic Metals, Chronic Diseases and Related Cancers”, there are 19 published manuscripts, including reports of environmental exposure monitoring [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Metals, Chronic Diseases and Related Cancers)
Review
Chemical Fractionation in Environmental Studies of Potentially Toxic Particulate-Bound Elements in Urban Air: A Critical Review
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030124 - 04 Mar 2022
Viewed by 639
Abstract
In recent years, studies of heavy metal air pollution have increasingly gone beyond determining total concentrations of individual toxic metals. Chemical fractionation of potentially toxic elements in airborne particles is becoming an important part of these studies. This review covers the articles that [...] Read more.
In recent years, studies of heavy metal air pollution have increasingly gone beyond determining total concentrations of individual toxic metals. Chemical fractionation of potentially toxic elements in airborne particles is becoming an important part of these studies. This review covers the articles that have been published over the last three decades. Attention was paid to the issue of atmospheric aerosol sampling, sample pretreatment, sequential extraction schemes and conditions of individual extractions. Geochemical forms of metals occurring in the air in urban areas were considered in detail. Based on the data sets from chemical fractionation of particulate matter samples by three sequential extraction procedures (SEPs)—Fernández Espinosa, BCR and Chester’s—the compilation of the chemical distribution patterns of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn was prepared. The human health risk posed by these toxic and/or carcinogenic elements via inhalation of atmospheric particles was estimated for two categories of polluted urban areas: the commonly encountered pollution level and the high pollution level. Full article
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Review
The Other Face of Insulin—Overdose and Its Effects
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030123 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Insulin is the most effective glycemic-lowering drug, and for people suffering from type 1 diabetes it is a life-saving drug. Its self-dosing by patients may be associated with a higher risk of overdose, both accidental and deliberate. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia causes up to 100,000 [...] Read more.
Insulin is the most effective glycemic-lowering drug, and for people suffering from type 1 diabetes it is a life-saving drug. Its self-dosing by patients may be associated with a higher risk of overdose, both accidental and deliberate. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia causes up to 100,000 emergency department calls per year. Cases of suicide attempts using insulin have been described in the literature since its introduction into therapy, and one of the important factors in their occurrence is the very fact of chronic disease. Up to 90% of patients who go to toxicology wards overdose insulin consciously. Patients with diabetes are burdened with a 2–3 times higher risk of developing depression compared to the general population. For this reason, it is necessary to develop an effective system for detecting a predisposition to overdose, including the assessment of the first symptoms of depression in patients with diabetes. A key role is played by a risk-conscious therapeutic team, as well as education. Further post-mortem testing is also needed for material collection and storage, as well as standardization of analytical methods and interpretation of results, which would allow for more effective detection and analysis of intentional overdose—both by the patient and for criminal purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Toxicology: A New Scientific Contribution)
Article
Prenatal Exposure to an EDC Mixture, NeuroMix: Effects on Brain, Behavior, and Stress Responsiveness in Rats
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030122 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Humans and wildlife are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) throughout their lives. Environmental EDCs are implicated in a range of diseases/disorders with developmental origins, including neurodevelopment and behavior. EDCs are most often studied one by one; here, we assessed outcomes induced by a [...] Read more.
Humans and wildlife are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) throughout their lives. Environmental EDCs are implicated in a range of diseases/disorders with developmental origins, including neurodevelopment and behavior. EDCs are most often studied one by one; here, we assessed outcomes induced by a mixture designed to represent the real-world situation of multiple simultaneous exposures. The choice of EDCs, which we refer to as “NeuroMix,” was informed by evidence for neurobiological effects in single-compound studies and included bisphenols, phthalates, vinclozolin, and perfluorinated, polybrominated, and polychlorinated compounds. Pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were fed the NeuroMix or vehicle, and then offspring of both sexes were assessed for effects on postnatal development and behaviors and gene expression in the brain in adulthood. In order to determine whether early-life EDCs predisposed to subsequent vulnerability to postnatal life challenges, a subset of rats were also given a stress challenge in adolescence. Prenatal NeuroMix exposure decreased body weight and delayed puberty in males but not females. In adulthood, NeuroMix caused changes in anxiety-like, social, and mate preference behaviors only in females. Effects of stress were predominantly observed in males. Several interactions of NeuroMix and stress were found, especially for the mate preference behavior and gene expression in the brain. These findings provide novel insights into how two realistic environmental challenges lead to developmental and neurobehavioral deficits, both alone and in combination, in a sex-specific manner. Full article
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Article
Seasonality of Aerosol Sources Calls for Distinct Air Quality Mitigation Strategies
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030121 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 893
Abstract
An Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) was deployed to investigate the temporal variability of non-refractory particulate matter (NR-PM1) in the coastal city of Galway, Ireland, from February to July 2016. Source apportionment of the organic aerosol (OA) was performed using the [...] Read more.
An Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) was deployed to investigate the temporal variability of non-refractory particulate matter (NR-PM1) in the coastal city of Galway, Ireland, from February to July 2016. Source apportionment of the organic aerosol (OA) was performed using the newly developed rolling PMF strategy and was compared with the conventional seasonal PMF. Primary OA (POA) factors apportioned by rolling and seasonal PMF were similar. POA factors of hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), peat, wood, and coal were associated with domestic heating, and with an increased contribution to the OA mass in winter. Even in summer, sporadic heating events occurred with similar diurnal patterns to that in winter. Two oxygenated OA (OOA) factors were resolved, including more-oxygenated OOA and less-oxygenated OOA (i.e., MO-OOA and LO-OOA, accordingly) which were found to be the dominant OA factors during summer. On average, MO-OOA accounted for 62% of OA and was associated with long-range transport in summer. In summer, compared to rolling PMF, the conventional seasonal PMF over-estimated LO-OOA by nearly 100% while it underestimated MO-OOA by 30%. The results from this study show residential heating and long-range transport alternately dominate the submicron aerosol concentrations in this coastal city, requiring different mitigation strategies in different seasons. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Utility of the Cement Solidification Process of Waste Ion Exchange Resin
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030120 - 02 Mar 2022
Viewed by 774
Abstract
The present study aimed to evaluate the utility of the cement solidification process for stably disposing of waste ion exchange resin generated during the treatment of radioactive wastewater. The cement solidification process using the in-drum mixing system was selected to be used for [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to evaluate the utility of the cement solidification process for stably disposing of waste ion exchange resin generated during the treatment of radioactive wastewater. The cement solidification process using the in-drum mixing system was selected to be used for the solidification process of waste ion exchange resins. The disposal safety of waste forms was evaluated according to the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) applicable to domestic waste disposal sites, and the tests were conducted for six test items provided in the WAC. A total of 15 representative samples were collected from the waste-form drums produced using the optimum operating conditions, and their structural stability for disposal considerations was evaluated. In addition, the leaching index of the samples was 11.05, 10.12, 8.39 for Co, Sr, and Cs, respectively, and it was found to exceed 6, the leaching index standard of WAC. The results confirmed that cement waste forms including waste ion exchange resins produced through this process were considered to be conforming to the requirements for disposal safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on the Removal of Pollutants by Nanomaterials)
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Article
Source Apportionment of Atmospheric PM10 in Makkah Saudi Arabia by Modelling Its Ion and Trace Element Contents with Positive Matrix Factorization and Generalised Additive Model
Toxics 2022, 10(3), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxics10030119 - 02 Mar 2022
Viewed by 775
Abstract
In this paper, the emission sources of PM10 are characterised by analysing its trace elements (TE) and ions contents. PM10 samples were collected for a year (2019–2020) at five sites and analysed. PM10 speciated data were analysed using graphical visualization, [...] Read more.
In this paper, the emission sources of PM10 are characterised by analysing its trace elements (TE) and ions contents. PM10 samples were collected for a year (2019–2020) at five sites and analysed. PM10 speciated data were analysed using graphical visualization, correlation analysis, generalised additive model (GAM), and positive matrix factorization (PMF). Annual average PM10 concentrations (µg/m3) were 304.68 ± 155.56 at Aziziyah, 219.59 ± 87.29 at Misfalah, 173.90 ± 103.08 at Abdeyah, 168.81 ± 82.50 at Askan, and 157.60 ± 80.10 at Sanaiyah in Makkah, which exceeded WHO (15 µg/m3), USEPA (50 µg/m3), and the Saudi Arabia national (80 µg/m3) annual air quality standards. A GAM model was developed using PM10 as a response and ions and TEs as predictors. Among the predictors Mg, Ca, Cr, Al, and Pb were highly significant (p < 0.01), Se, Cl, and NO2 were significant (p < 0.05), and PO4 and SO4 were significant (p < 0.1). The model showed R-squared (adj) 0.85 and deviance explained 88.1%. PMF identified four main emission sources of PM10 in Makkah: (1) Road traffic emissions (explained 51% variance); (2) Industrial emissions and mineral dust (explained 27.5% variance); (3) Restaurant and dwelling emissions (explained 13.6% variance); and (4) Fossil fuel combustion (explained 7.9% variance). Full article
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